One-time Norwich City target Steven Naismith set for talks over Everton future
- Credit: PA
Everton boss Roberto Martinez hinted on Thursday morning he could be prepared to offload former Norwich City transfer target Steven Naismith in the January window.
City failed with a reported £8m enquiry in the summer, but the Scottish international has remained a bit-part figure for the Toffees, who head to Carrow Road on Saturday in the Premier League. Now Martinez plans talks with the 29-year-old midfielder to thrash out his Goodison Park future.
'That's something we need to look into whenever that situation arises. It happened in August, it wasn't the right time. We're going to see how the next three or four weeks go,' said Martinez. 'It's so important to have a strong squad. We've got a period of a lot of games in a short amount of days and every single player will have a very important role in those weeks.
'So I'm sure in four or five weeks we'll have a clear idea of where we are and it'll be the right time to make a decision.
'Steven is a very intelligent man, intelligent footballer, and I think he's got an incredible degree of confidence.
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'It is true it's been very frustrating for certain players in those attacking positions due to the fact some of the players that are playing in those roles have reached an incredible level of form. I think as a player you understand that.'
Naismith memorably scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 Premier League win over Chelsea earlier this season but has not started a game since the 3-0 home league defeat to Manchester United on October 17. The midfielder's only recent appearances came from the bench in the Capital One Cup ties against both the Canaries and Middlesbrough.
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'When Norwich were interested in me in the summer, it was the manager who said he didn't want it to happen. But as a player you need to think about all your options,' he said. 'The manager said we'd speak about it again come January time so we'll do that.
'At the moment I'm just concentrating on playing my football as part of a great squad and hopefully if I get my chance to play again, I take it.
'But you've got to weigh up all your options and see where you're at.
'At the start of the season I wasn't playing then got thrown on nine minutes into the Chelsea game and not many people would've seen me scoring a hat-trick. That shows you how quickly it can change.'
Naismith admits it has been tough adapting to a back-up role to the likes of Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu this season, along with the emergence of Arouna Kone.
'We've got a squad that is full of unbelievable young talent and when you're not playing, it's amazing to sit and watch these guys play with no fear,' he said.
'But on the other side of it I'm frustrated that I can't get into the team. Other times I've been out of the team it's been because of injuries - but this time I'm fit every week, so it's hard to deal with.